Promises and Warnings


God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 

But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.

Romans 2:6-11

I suppose it’s not difficult to see that in our culture today, we love to celebrate the promises and encouragement from God in the Bible, but often ignore His warnings.

I can’t imagine this is different from previous generations. Maybe it is. I don’t know. It sure feels to me like the American Church focuses less on holy living today. I could be wrong.

But one can hardly turn on Christian radio today, open a bestselling Christian book, or even enter a church service without hearing a message focused on the wonderful promises and grace of God.

I should be quick, right away, to say that there is nothing wrong with meditating on the boundless grace of a God who loves us so much He would sacrifice his own son for us. Scripture is full of stories and teachings on how God’s loves never fails and how He will accept us home whenever we decide to return—or turn to Him for the first time.

But God’s Word contains more than promises. It also contains grave warnings:

Warnings about prosperity (I Timothy 6)

Warnings about keeping money (Luke 20 / Matthew 6)

Warnings about living in sin (I John 3:6)

Warnings about how we talk (Matthew 12:36)

Warnings about all manner of sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:8)

Warnings about laziness (II Thessalonians 3:10)

Warnings about pretending to be righteous (Matthew 23:28)

Warnings about not meeting together (Hebrews 10:25)

Warnings about even the appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22)

And I fear, we have become too quick to overlook them.

God’s kindness has a role to play in our lives. It is not fruitless. It results in something:

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? —Romans 2:4

Count your blessings. Meditate on God’s love for you. Sing songs recounting his faithfulness. Listen to preachers who celebrate his grace.

But at the same time, do not neglect the gravity of God’s warnings. He wants what is best for us. But our actions play a significant role in receiving that.


Heavenly Father, thank you for your boundless grace and thank you for your warnings that come along with it. May I remember that while you love me endlessly, my actions play an important role. Amen.